Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
"Early history of the town of Bad Axe"

"Rusk letters reveal much of interest"

Read More About It

"Wisconsin Blue Book" 1960



Interesting Fact:

Rusk sold his own home to the state of Wisconsin for $20,000 for use as the Governor's Mansion. It served this purpose until the 1950's.

Study Questions:

  • What presidential appointments did Rusk turn down prior to being elected governor of Wisconsin?
  • What do you think it was like being a stage driver in Wisconsin?
  • Research the battles of Vicksburg, Atlanta and Sherman's march to the sea.

    U.S. historical events that occurred on November 21:

    1877: Thomas Edison announces the invention of the phonograph
    1899: Vice President Garret Hobart dies
    1980: Eighty-seven people die in a Las Vegas fire at the MGM Grand Hotel.

  • November 21

    Wisconsin's Governors

    Jeremiah McLain Rusk, the 15th governor of Wisconsin, died on this date in 1893. He was born on June 17, 1830 in Ohio where he drove a stagecoach as a young man. After marrying, Rusk moved to Bad Ax, Wisconsin in 1853 to become a farmer. He also operated a hotel in Viroqua and drove a stage between Sparta and Prairie du Chien. He was elected sheriff of Bad Ax County and, in 1861, to the state Legislature. His service in the Civil War was marked by courage and heroism, twice having his horse shot out from underneath him. He took part in the battles of Vicksburg, Atlanta and in Sherman's march to the sea. Rusk was elected to Congress in 1870 by the largest margin ever given a representative from Wisconsin. His popularity carried him to the governor's office in 1881 where he served three terms. Rusk was considered for the 1888 presidential nomination. He served as the first U.S. secretary of agriculture.

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